Our Portrait Exceeds Us

There is a burning star and there is a gift
of choice at least sometimes
once something will come
from the world, it just appears
from nowhere
making event
of the given
heat-guided drives

for public use
for ease of swallowing
honey, fog, and come what may
unsteady in the gravel
unsteady in the sandy murk

I never said
the end I said
credit functions
on the edifice
of the routine
of pillage and extinction
debt swallows the moon

As an ear’s for
tonguing the open out
an ear’s for breathing
engine of thought
knowing what
listens won’t die
but it’s hard to hear
it’s hard to hear


Copyright © 2015 by Alli Warren. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 16, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Because we are inextricably linked under the constancy of the sun and the terror of the dumb market, this poem is desperate. But in excess of feeling, in honing the intelligence of instinct, maybe there is light to string along the tunnel to better find each other. Perhaps there’s an out.”
Alli Warren